Hardly surprising is how NFL.com's many analysts feel about the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills being the top contenders for the AFC championship. After all, the teams played each other for the right to go to the Super Bowl ih the most recent conference championship game last January, and strong cases can be made that each will come back stronger in 2021.
What's especially fascinating was the primary focus of each team in the offseason, in which the Bills wanted to improve their pass rush and the Chiefs wanted to protect their quarterback better.
Both took major steps to make it happen, with the Bills adding pass rushers Greg Rousseau and Boogie Basham in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft and the Chiefs completely revamping their offensive line.
What it means is that the conference champion could be determined by which plan was executed best.
But that's an argument for the future. For now, let's get to why three of the website's analysts picked the Bills to win the Super Bowl and three more picked them to win the AFC.
Adam Schein: "Bills over Rams. Josh Allen and Sean McDermott lead Buffalo to its first-ever Lombardi Trophy, and Allen delivers on his promise from my SiriusXM Radio show to jump through a table lit on fire, mega Bills Mafia style."
Matt Smith: "Bills over Packers. Josh Allen follows up an MVP campaign with a Super Bowl victory, while Aaron Rodgers and the Packers realize they're a perfect pair and decide to run it back (despite the loss) for years to come."
(On a side note, we disagree on Rodgers. It's unlikely he comes back to Green Bay even if the Packers win the Super Bowl.)
Gennaro Filice: "Bills over 49ers: San Francisco comes on like a freight train in the back half of the season, with rookie Trey Lance supplanting Jimmy Garoppolo to make sweet music in Kyle Shanahan's orchestra. But the beat stops on Super Bowl Sunday, when the Josh Allen project realizes its full potential, giving the Bills their first Lombardi Trophy."
Kevin Patra and Marc Sessler predict the Bills will fall to the 49ers in the Super Bowl, while Brooke Cersosimo believes the Rams, who play in the NFC West with the 49ers, will take down the Bills in the final game.
The Chiefs, who fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the most recent Super Bowl and won the title the year before, are the most popular pick to win it all again in the 2021 season, with odds listed at +450 by Bovada. The Bucs have the next best odds at +650, followed by the Bills at +1100.
Sure would be interesting if the Bills and Chiefs make it back to the conference championship game and whether the venue will be different this season. Last year, the Chiefs' victory over the Bills in the regular season was the deciding factor. Kansas City finished with a 14-2 record. The Bills were 13-3.
The Bills visit Kansas City for a Sunday night game on Oct. 10.